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3 Filipinos nominated in Oscars

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LOS ANGELES – Yes, Virginia. There are two Filipino Americans and one Filipino Canadian who have been nominated to this year's Academy Awards or the Oscars to be held on February 24.


And if any one of them win, they will follow the record of the lone FilAm Oscar winner, composer and songwriter Robert Lopez who created the Oscar winning original songs "Let It Go" for the movie "Frozen" in 2014 and "Remember Me" for the movie "Coco" in 2018.


Leading the FilAm nominees is Matthew Libatique who was nominated for best cinematography for his critically acclaimed work as the director of photography of the movie “A Star is Born” which stars Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga.


 Libatique, who was born and raised to Filipino-American parents in Queens, New York, got his first Oscar nomination in 2011 for his work for the movie “Black Swan” which starred Natalie Portman.


Also nominated were Bobby Pontillas and Trevor Jimenez and are competing against each other for the best animated short category.


Libatique has been in Hollywood for 20 years. He started shooting music videos for music artists like 98 Degrees, Dru Hill, Jay-Z and The Cranberries.


In 1998, he started collaborating with film director Darren Aronofsky in doing the movies. Their collaboration produced the movies "Pi," "Requiem for A Dream," "Black Swan" and "Mother."


Libatique also became the cinematographer of the movies "Iron Man 2," "Straight Outta Compton" and "Chi-Raq."


Pontillas co-directed “One Small Step” while Jimenez made “Weekends,” which was based on his own childhood experiences.


In animation feature film, “Ralph Breaks the Internet” also got the Oscar nod. The movie’s story was by Filipina Josie Trinidad and Cesar Velasquez headed its special effects team.


Competing in the same category is “Spider-verse” which features Filipina-American Hailee Steinfeld, who voiced the lead female character in the movie.


The movie’s animation team includes Filipino talents Louie del Carmen, Ryan Rubi and John Butiu.


Trevor Jimenez is a Filipino-Canadian nominated for the category Best Animated Short Film for "Weekends." It is his first Oscar nomination.


Born in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, Jimenez was part of Pixar co-op program which develops animated short and helps animators and background painting.


A nephew of veteran entertainment writer Baby K. Jimenez, Trevor has collaborated with other Pixar artists in the animations Monsters University, Inside Out, Finding Dory, Coco and Bao.


Jimenez also collaborated in the animated films "Rio" and "Dr. Seuss' The Lorax."


Pontillas said he is originally from Bremerton, Washington and now lives in Glendale, California.


He said he worked in the animation industry for companies like Disney (‘Frozen,’ ‘Zootopia’, ‘Moana’), Blue Sky (‘Rio’), and ArenaNet. He said he was a co-director and art director for the first short film, ‘One Small Step’.”


The first American actress with Filipino descent who was nominated in acting category was Hailey Steinfeld.


She was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for the 2010 film "True Grit."


In 2015, Fil-American Ronnie del Carmen was nominated for Best Original Screenplay for the animated film,” Inside Out".


For Best Live Action Short Film, Fil-American Pia Clemente was nominated in 2005 for "Our Time Is Up."

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